Dark matter? (part one)

Did you know that the concept of “Dark Matter” was actually invented by primarily American novelists?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter_in_fiction

Belief in Dark Matter has roughly the same validity as a small child’s belief that there is a monster in his closet. He can’t see anything, his parents aren’t home, the closet is dark, and its properties don’t fit with his explanatory theory which has been accepted by his epistemic peers in the scientific community. Therefore there must be this ridiculous substance to explain his yucky feelings.

Thinking I’m out on a limb on this one? Well, don’t take my word for it. According to smartest man in the world and noted scientist Noam Chomsky,

Physics is in a situation in which something like 90% of the matter in the Universe is what is called dark matter — it’s called dark because they don’t know what it is, they can’t find it, but it has to be there or the physical laws don’t work. So people happily go on with the assumption that we’re somehow missing 90% of the matter in the Universe.

There you have it, from an official and mainstream scholar of the natural sciences. What more do you need?

QUED

[EDIT: See part two in this series, here.]

Advertisements

“You can’t actually see light”

This claim is actually self-defeating – e.g., viciously circular. If we can’t see light, then how did we ever come to know how fast it is going?

According to proto-quantum physicist Rene Descartes, every cause has at least as much perfection as its effect (see his “Metamorphosis Five”). What are the effects of light? Well, according to influential Biblical scholar and philosopher of science Richard Dawkins, one function of the sun is that it helps us to see everything. This is called a “proper function” account of celestial bodies, a la carte Alvin Plantinga. I think it’s quite accurate. And the same goes for flashlights. And fires. Notice something? All of those involve light. So an effect of light is that we can see things. So the property of (let’s call it) being-able-to-see-it-fulness is a property conferred onto external objects by light. Therefore, by Descartes’ relatively uncontested principle of causation, light must have at least the property of being-able-to-see-it-fulness.

(You can also reach this same conclusion using the transitive property.)

The subatomic world (part one)

Scientists believe in fairies; they call them electrons. That’s just a language game, and we all know what Wittgenstein uncontroversially proved about language games.

Supposedly there are these magical little floating things and here are their essential properties:

1) We can’t see them
2) They hold everything together

That sounds to me a lot like fairies. And you might say, “Well, there are different types. Protons, electrons, etc. etc. quarks whatever.” So the fairy creatures come in different races, so what? Now I’m not one to doubt the existence of fairies. Frankly I see no evidence of their non-existence and you can’t prove a negative. But let’s stop teaching that there is anything scientific about them. No one has ever even seen one, and noted anthropologist Sam Harris has explained that this is the key feature of myth. The subatomic world (actually Latin for “below the earth” – and where do fairies live exactly? yep.) is false as traditionally explained. And the diagrams shown to children are simply outrageous.

“Black is not a color” and other newspeak

People of science, who cannot be unconditionally trusted, want us to believe that there are at least two kinds of color; one for things like flashlights and stars and one for things like flowers and walls and potato chips. Aside from being implicitly colonialist, this claim is empirically absurd. The supposed “two kinds of color” are actually identical. This can be verified by first sitting down and then looking at them.

However, what is even more ridiculous is the claim that when a flower is black, it means that it has a bunch of colors, but when space is black it means that it has no colors. Can you smell ‘double standard‘? First of all, space is just kind of dubious in general, and it’s not respectable to invoke a suspect object to support a controversial thesis. But assuming it exists, how can it not have a color? If space didn’t have a color, then no one could very well see it. But we can see it; for God’s sake, we can even point to it! You can’t point to something that has no color. Try it some time (without begging the question and pointing to space).


Possible Objection #1:

According to transatlantic physicist Travis Loncar (who is in my view an impostor), “a window has no color, but its color is instead defined by the color of the objects that we see through it. I can point at my window, can’t you?”

My response is that my window does have a color, but it also has close to minimal opacity. No contradiction here. Consider so-called “tinted windows” as proof that something can have a color and also be see-through.

Also, I doubt very much that the window’s color is the same as the flower’s color. C.S. Lewis eloquently disproved this in his path-breaking essay on optics, “Dioptrique,” where he wrote:

“You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that a window should be transparent, because the street or the garden beyond is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to ‘see through’ first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To ‘see through’ all things is the same as not to see.”
-C.S. Lewis

Time (part one)

No need to spend much time on this one. Pun intended! Time is not a dimension of reality. Time is just identical with motion. We can prove this using a simple thought experiment:

Imagine that everything stopped moving.

Can you think of a single scientifically or artistically relevant way in which there could still be time? If so, bring it into the discussion.

Imaginary numbers (part one)

This concept kind of shoots itself in the foot, so I don’t need to spend much time on it. Using an imaginary number in an equation is like intentionally using a false premise in an argument, which is of course totally inappropriate in scholarship.

In fact, the man who invented Imaginary Numbers was an ophthalmologist named Renes Descartes. He coined the term. And guess what. It was in a criticism of the idea. Orwell would have a field day.

Infinity (part one)

I don’t think I need to spend much time on infinity. Infinitus est numerus stultorum. It suffices to point out that you cannot show me infinity of anything whatsoever. Since everything is finite, including every number, putting them all together will still not get you to infinity. According to math (and also its feisty sidekick, the English language), the number before infinity would be known as the “penultimate” in the series of all numbers. So in my opinion, the last number in the number line is the penultimate.

There is also a convenient common sense method for refuting infinity. If there were infinite numbers, then the Universe couldn’t fit them all in. But clearly the Universe does fit them all in, by the transitive property. It fits our brains, and our brains fit all the numbers. Please see William Lane Craig on this point, for further discussion.