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Re: Re: Illuminating The Void/Alexander

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Posted by Benjamin Nelson on January 24, 2001 14:35:23 UTC

Bewildered by the torrent of unintentionally hilarious pronouncements, mystified by what Alexander means by, the universe "behaves in complete agreement with mathematical rules which we call physical laws," I should say that I find it all superficial and unconvincing.

Of course, it is easy to be fooled by our own metaphors, becoming so dazzled by the concepts we invent that we can see the world only through their glare. Hence, here on earth, there may be no such thing as a perfect circle, still we recognize the rough approximations because we somehow have access to The Perfect Circle, a pure idea existing in a separate ectoplasmic realm.

But ultimately there are no guarantees; the history of trying to understand the world is replete with cherished fundamentals that were later abandoned as not so fundamental after all: the centrality of the earth was thrown out by Copernicus, the centrality of Euclidean geometry by Einstein’s general theory of relativity, with its curved space-time; the wall between subject and object was breached by quantum theory; quantum cosmology may be on the verge of eliminating the distinction between initial conditions and physical law. Indeed, prejudices must be abandoned if we are to reach a deeper understanding.

B. L. Nelson

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