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Sci Tech    H4'ed 1/2/20

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

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(Free Inquiry magazine - Dec-Jan, 2014-15)

The European Southern Observatory -- a fifteen-nation consortium that operates telescopes in Chile -- released a photo of two galaxies colliding. Here's the stunner: It happened seven billion years ago, when the universe was younger, but it took seven billion years for fast-traveling light to reach Planet Earth. To look at the image today is looking backward in time through incredible eons.

If you follow science, you may get an eerie sense that daily reality -- people, houses, cars, trees, air, earth and all the rest -- is just a shred amid a hugely greater array of existence. Philosopher-engineer R. Buckminster Fuller put it this way:

"Up to the 20th century, 'reality' was everything humans could touch, smell, see and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see and hear is less than one-millionth of reality."

Here are some random examples:

Each cell of your body (except red blood cells) has about six feet of DNA tightly coiled into 46 chromosomes in its nucleus. Since the human body has an estimated 37 trillion cells, each person contains perhaps 30 billion miles of DNA.

When you sit perfectly "still," you're traveling vastly faster than a bullet -- 1,000 miles per hour with Earth's rotation (at the equator), 67,000 mph with the planet's orbit around the sun, 486,000 mph with the solar system's whirl around the Milky Way galaxy, and an estimated 1.3 million mph with the galaxy's travel through the universe. A bullet goes about 3,000 mph.

When electrons come loose from atoms, they can make spectacular lightning or the current flow driving the entire modern electrical age. In most atoms, electrons are placid because they're paired in couples of opposite "spin" (which doesn't mean whirling). But iron atoms have a few electrons that aren't paired, making each atom a magnet. When all the atoms in a piece of iron become aligned, it creates a magnet powerful enough to make maglev (magnetic levitation) trains hover above rails. The spin of electrons is more powerful than gravity.

Einstein's relativity is fully accepted today. But ask yourself: Can time really slow down and dimensions shorten as speed increases?

Einstein's famed E=MC2 equation showed that matter and energy are interchangeable. Less matter than a dime turned into energy at Hiroshima in 1945.

Nobody really knows what subatomic particles are. Sometimes they're objects; sometimes they're waves. They seemingly exist in several places at once. They're "the dreams of which stuff is made," one physicist said. Some "virtual particles" appear and vanish in pure vacuum.

Physicists Paul Davies and John Gribbin wrote a book titled The Matter Myth, which contends that "materialism is dead." Quote:

"Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less substance than we might believe.... An extension of quantum theory, known as quantum field theory... paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy. In this theory, little distinction remains between material substance and apparently empty space, which itself seethes with ephemeral quantum activity."

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Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail. He can be reached by phone at 304-348-5199 or e-mail at Email address.)James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's (more...)
 

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Chuck Nafziger

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The conclusion treats science as a god who will eventually come up with all the answers. I do not think so. Science tries to put ones mind in a closed box. Intuition, as described with Jung's thousand year old man, reveals more if one truly interacts with the real world rather than a computer screen showing it's industry controlled scientific papers.

Reductionist western science is killing us by abetting killing everything around to study a detail. It is killing the world with "advanced" pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, fungicides. The soil, the living skin of the earth, is dying, our guts can no longer digest the food(?) covered with pesticide residue and internal systemic neonics. The oceans are dying abetted by science funded by industry. Wake up scientists. You are being played.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 2, 2020 at 4:03:23 PM

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Derryl Hermanutz

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I agree Chuck. Scientism (belief in science) has replaced theism (belief in God) as the foundation of the modern worldview. And even though some quantum theorists believe reality is immaterial, it remains the case that scientific materialism has made itself the final arbiter of what is real and not real; what is true and not true.


If science cannot explain a perceptual phenomenon that many people experience - and I refer to every kind of mystical, spiritual, psychic, deja vu type of experience: science claims those experiences are "delusions", because scientific materialism "knows" those kinds of things cannot be real.


Every "real" experience must be mediated by chemical activity in our brain. Scientific materialism cannot accept that our conscious mind is made of energy, which causally interacts with the atomic matter of our brain. Somehow, science does not "believe in" electromagnetic energy, when the energy is "conscious".


The author marvels at the exquisite complexity of living cells and their DNA, but dismisses as religious superstition the logical implication that such marvelous functional complexity does not build itself "by accident" in a "purposeless universe" whose naturally entropic forces break down complex constructions into their component pieces. Only "life" constructs complex order. And only intelligent purpose could have built something so complex as DNA-based living cells.


Science utterly fails to see the metaphysical assumptions that its certainties are built upon. This is an ignorance-based worldview, that dismisses the deepest philosophical, spiritual and religious questions as 'woo'; while implicitly believing in its own incoherent answers to those questions.


Engineering science - based on observations of "how" things work - has gained enough knowledge of practical physics to build functional technologies.


But theoretical science is centuries behind philosophy and religion in trying to understand "why" things work as they do.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 2, 2020 at 11:12:43 PM

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nelswight

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One can't voice it any better than that, Derryl.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 3, 2020 at 12:25:39 AM

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James Haught

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Email Reply from James Haught:

You commenters are correct: I worship science almost like a religion.
But that seems honest to me, because science provides real, tangible,
factual information - while other psychological approaches seem
speculative, unreliable, never truly conclusive. - Jim Haught, editor
emeritus, Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail


Submitted on Friday, Jan 3, 2020 at 5:20:01 PM

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Chuck Nafziger

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I question how factual science actually is. Why are there so many contradictory scientific reports concerning pesticide and herbicide safety. Why so many contradictory reports on the safety of GMOs and vaccines? Even climate change! Even the treasured quantum theory states that the observer influences the event.

Look at the big picture, not just some over studied detail. Scence and technology are pulled in existentially destructive directions by money. The richest and most ruthless fund where any new tech goes. Science and tech overcame human social stability with the advent of intensive agriculture and we are now reaping the rewards of combining tech and fossil fuels to decimate life on earth. Even the dumbest religions are not that destructive.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 3, 2020 at 8:25:32 PM

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