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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Mar > Mar 20

Re: Defending The Indefensible - Maccabee

From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 01:39:37 -0400
Fwd Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 10:22:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Defending The Indefensible - Maccabee

>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 23:31:06 -0000
>Subject: Re: Defending The Indefensible

>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 18:53:45 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Defending The Indefensible

>On the point of sending this Post I should apologise to the List
>for the length of it. On another day I wouldn't have devoted
>much time to this nonsense, but it's been a quiet and snowbound

>>Martin Shough and Mike Good are at opposite ends of a see-saw
>>called 'the popular view of science' - and, for a couple of
>>reasons, I think Martin is sitting on the complacent, slightly
>>over-reverential end.

>Ray I don't think you have understood either the point of my
>argument or the original anti-science exhortation it was
>directed at. You are coming at us from your own familiar and
>unique position, and consequently only make contact with the
i>ssues raised insofar as they are an opportunity to voice it.
>You adopt a pose in which you are the reasonable, balanced voice
>at the fulcrum of your see-saw, the mature and real voice of
>science, with Mike Good and myself occupying somehow equivalent
>"popular" positions at the extremes. But to strike that pose I
>think you need, among other things, to understand Newton,
>quantum field theory and relativistic mass-energy conservation
>better than you do (see below).


>And another thing. You should stop being so over-literal in your
>reading. Do you really imagine Smolin means science died in 1975
>and could be no worse off left in the hands of Ray Dickenson? In
>2000 Smolin wrote:

>"25 years ago [hey look, that was 1975] when I began to work on
>the quantum theory of gravity . . . several of my teachers told
>me that only fools worked on this problem. The situation
>now is very different. We still are not quite there, but few who
>work in the field doubt that we have come a long way. One
>consequence of our progress is that all of a sudden our pursuit
>has become fashionable... huge progress we have made in the
>last twenty years... By the end of the 21st century, the
>quantum theory of gravity will be taught to high-school students
>around the world."

>They still aren't there and maybe even 2100 was optimistic.
>There are competing avenues of approach, no-one's sure what will
>win out. I'm certainly far from claiming that there is no
>problem. I have my own little pet opinions. But of course it's
>horrendously difficult for little humans to work out the answers
>to questions of cosmic scale. "A man is a small thing, and the
>night is very large and full of wonders," as Lord Dunsany
>beautifully put it many decades ago in words which will last as
>long as Max Planck's.

>Why that should surprise you, or dismay you, or embitter you as
>it seems to do I'm not sure, but I think the answer is in your
>own head rather than out there in physics.


Thanks for your erudite discussion of science.

"Science" is (scientists are) successful and we do know
something... something more than we used to know...  more than
Newton's atomism and even more than Planck's and Einstein's
"atomism" (quantization). After all, consider the manner in
which this discussion is taking place. Sometimes the medium _is_
- at least a major part of - the message.

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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