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Re: No Time For General Relativity

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Posted by daViper on July 22, 1999 19:39:43 UTC

: : ::::::::: : : I'm a bit confused here. Below, you allude to this "exponential dependence" of the speed of light as if you had mentioned it before. Yet a check of previous posts shows that it was brought up "bzrd" in a discussion we had earlier. Am I to believe that the author if this post "richard" and "bzrd" are one and the same?

: : Nonetheless, lets include a quote here from the very paper that you reference where Rovelli says:

: : ..."The world is real, solid, and understandable by science. The best we can say about the physical world, and about what is there in the world, is what good physics says about it. At the same time, our perceiving, understanding, and conceptualizing the world is in continuous evolution, and science is the form of this evolution. At every stage, the best we can say about the reality of the world is precisely what we are saying. The fact we will understand it better later on does not make our present understanding less valuable, or less credible."...

: : and examine your postulation further in light of the context of his paper. : : : : : A reading of Rovelli's paper "Quantum spacetime: what do we know?" which may be found at http://xxx.lanl.gov/ as preprint gr-qc/9903045 suggests that solutions of the equations of general relativity are independent of the time variable. : : ::::::: : : Rovelli suggests many things throughout his paper in a very philosophical approach to understanding. Allowing time to be variable in General Relativity is but one example he suggests as a way to take this philosophical approach to scientific discovery.

: : : : Picking a particular time variation is equivalent to picking a gauge in field theory. That is, many different time variations yield the same solutions. So a possible conclusion is that the evolution of the universe is not a unique function of time. : : :::::::::::: : : (This last sentence is of course your conclusion, not Rovelli's.)

: : : Even when a particular gauge is chosen, the dependence is on the product of time and the speed of light, and not on each individually. Therefore, it is possible to pick an explicit variation of the speed of light and adjust the evolution of the earth as a function of time accordingly. : : ::::::::::::: : : Again, you are hypothesizing here, not Rovelli. OK. : :

: : : For example, previously in this forum I have indicated that an exponential dependence... : : :::::::::: : : Well, "bzrd" has, but if you "richard" are him, then I still would like some clarification of the term. I've never heard this one before.

: : ...of the speed of light on time with a ten-folding time of one thousand years makes the resulting 8,000 year old universe equivalent to a 100 billion year old universe in which the speed of light is held constant at its presently measured rate of 186,000 miles per second. Since the number of degrees of freedom... : : :::::::::::: : : Sorry, again, a term I've never heard before. What are the "number of degrees of freedom" and how do you calculate them? What do they pertain to?

: : : : ...in the universe depends on the exponential of entropy integrated over time, an exponential dependence for the speed of light is reasonable. : : ::::::::::: : : I'm not sure how I could accept any postulation as reasonable when the logic involved to arrive at it involves terminology I'm not familiar with in the first place. Please, I need an explaination of "degrees of freedom", "exponential of entropy" and how these (whatever they are) could be "integrated over time" as you say.

: : : The point is that according to currently accepted astronomical physics, the speed of light is not determined to be a constant. It is just assumed to be one. Measurements of the speed of light indicate that it has been roughly constant for 100 years on one small planet in the universe. : : :::::::::::: : : By the measurements you describe here, it IS determined to be a constant. The only effect on it's velocity is the medium it travels thru. It is slower thru water than air. Understandably.

: : We seem to be going in circles here my friend since I've asked you before for what possible justification could one have for thinking the speed of light is anything other than what it is known to be. I've asked this before since anytime someone suggests that we toss aside common accepted methodology for some new idea, It is necessary to indicate why we should do so by providing some reason to be believe we may be wrong. You are not doing that here. It seems to me that you want me to believe something because you want to believe it. (That the universe is 8000 years old.) You have indicated that you are a Born Again Christian and you see no need to give up that belief. I see no need for you to do so either. I certainly would not ask you to do so. BUT...I fail to see how being a Born Again Christian necessitates believing the univerese is 8000 years old. I have many Christian friends, some who are Astronomers and Biologists, who are perfectly happy with the evidence that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and the Universe quite a bit older than that.

: : I really think from now on, I'll need to hear some really solid science behind your hypothesis regarding the reduction of the speed of light, because we really are kicking it to death here. The source you provide above may be a good philosophy paper, but I don't see, after reading the entire thing, how Ravelli supports your view here at all.

: : : Scripture, the only universal and timeless source of information, actually suggests that the rate variation of time was different in the past. Old testament scripture indicates that humans lived ten times longer in the past than now; and Hindu scripture indicates that god's day is orders of magnitude longer than ours. So from scripture it seems that time is clearly variable; and from general relativity we deduce that the speed of light must also be variable. So the universe can easily be about "8,000 biblical" years old. It all depends on the interpretation of the word "year". Scientists assume that all years are alike. But that does not have to be true in the bible. The bible may be literally true, but we do not know if what was true thousands of years ago, like the length of a day, is still the same today. : : :::::::::: : : This last is of course your faith and I wont challenge that. It's not my place to challenge anyone's faith. If you want to hypothesize where Science can be used to verify a particular hypothesis however, you have to show where the science can be correctly applied in a verifiable manner.

: : I'm going to leave it at this since after several discussions on this "speed of light" issue, I can see no logical reason to consider it to have ever been anything other than what it has been measured to be, or any reason why I sould toss aside solid methodology in favor of proving some hypothesis I can find no reason for in the first place.

: : I'm perfectly comfortable with a 4.5 billion year old Earth and the omnipotence of any God who may have created it to also be endowed with enough power and wisdom to have left the evidence for mankind to see it exactly as we are discovering it. When He created life, He put together a perfectly logical process of evolution for it to develop by, and did this long enough ago for the process to have not only worked very well, but to be continuing to work as we speak. For those who want even more evolutionary transitional forms than I have provided below, I say look around you. Every living thing IS a transitional form, including US. On our way to something else yet unknown.

: : We stand on the threshold of the Cosmos itself. God is inviting us to grow and learn more. If we don't evolve out of this petty earthbound tribal territorial mentality we are still very much stuck in, we aren't going to make it.

: : In about 5 billion years, the Sun will swell up to a red giant consuming the outer 4 planets. That's US. If we're still stuck here bickering over land in the middle east, evolution, the rights of others and religion in northern Ireland, we will indeed get just what we deserve. We will be destroyed by fire just like it says in the book of Revelation. And good riddance to us for being so short sighted as to not have escaped the holocaust out of our own ignorance. Either way, God will either smile or proclaim, "Back to the drawing board".

: : Go in Peace.

: In the past I have been accused of having multiple personalities, though I can assure you, Richard is not one of them. Viper, I consider you a valuable asset to this forum in that you counter many (if not all) of the postulates put forth by myself and others of similar philosophy. (I have this vision of Viper taking bead on my "thought ballons" with his "piercing pellets of pessimism") Though I wander if you are as philosphically removed from us as I initially presumed. Shalom. ::::::::::: Probably not. I actually consider myself a rather spiritual fellow, but one whose spirituality is advanced by being inquisitive rather than dogmatic.

The paternal side of my family is/was quite fundamentalist Christian. I could never be convinced of it as a child, and continue to hold the same reasons why as an adult. It's not that I reject true spiritualist teachings, (even Christian ones like those put forth by Christ), but my spirituality is much broader than the very narrow focus and dogma that much of christianity has become.

I will not challenge the faith of the Hebrew, Islam, Christian, Hindu, Shinto or any other. I will however ask any who purport to use science to "prove" a particular belief, to back it up with evidence. Real evidence. Not the dogma they have been taught and now can quote as if it were some "rote" homework assignment as an induction into the sect.

The Young Earth Creationists (YEC) are particularly enigmatic in that is seems they suffer from some sort of shutdown of the learning process itself. Psychologists call it the "True Believer" syndrome. Once focused on a singular "official" line of thought, it becomes unshakable in any sense. It's more than simple brainwashing, it's surrender of all intent to think for one's self.

I simply do not understand it. But I have a hypothesis for why I think it occurs.

I think that some people are so afraid of confronting their own mortality, they easily buy into a philosophy or religious dogma that takes away the fear and confusion for them. It is comfortable to "know" that your soul/spirit is in the hands of a higher power that has given you a set of rules that if you play by, you get an eternal blissful reward. But it has certain dogmatic doctrines you must adhere to, such as an 8000 year old Earth. Because the Bible (as WE your teachers TELL you it says), says the Earth is 8000 years old. (Interpretation never is allowed to be an issue since WE, you teachers have God Himself telling us how to interpret His scriptures.)

So...When Science comes along and says no, the Earth can't be 8000 years old, we have a problem. If we believe this, then our teachings MUST be wrong. If our teachings are wrong about this, what ELSE might they be wrong about? Now we're in trouble! The foundation for all that comfort in surrending our thoughts to an idealistic plan are crumbling. Now we have to start contemplating our mortality with uncertainty again, and we can't handle that.

Well.....etc., you get the point.

I guess I just don't have a problem with confronting this mortal uncertainty. And facing my mortality is something I've done a few times. Including once when i was on a bypass machine with my heart stopped for 45 minutes.

No white tunnels of light, no images of a "saviour" and frankly no subsequent fear.

Sorry, I'm just simply not afraid. Whatever my mortality is, I can handle it.

Peace to you.

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