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Monday, July 13, 2015

Science lessons for atheists

Throughout history the misuse of the concept of space has wreaked havoc in physics. Judging by the many strange comments on articles at MyNews24, confusion about this insidious ‘thing’ called space is rife." reports Sean Brennan.

Mosaic from Pompeii depicting Plato's academy

Before I begin, I wish to state unequivocally that space is nothing.  I also wish to also state that I am not saying that there are no known or as yet undiscovered particles in our universe amongst the spaces between larger entities.

To understand how we think of space, let us look at the history of the concept.
The ancient Greeks had assumed that the universe was finite. But when the Greek atomists put forth the idea of empty space as a separate reality, distinct from matter, they were driven to accept the idea of an infinite universe. For what could possibly limit the extent of empty space?
If empty space was nothing and yet a reality, there didn’t seem any sense to the claim that it could stop. After all, nothingness has no edge or boundary, so what could possibly stop, or end? Those clever Greeks didn’t want to look like idiots and say that the nothingness only extended so far and beyond that; was really, really nothing,(like their present economic situation)

Go to this link, and ask yourself; what is all that black stuff, outside of the galaxies, stars and space that surrounds this artists inflating universe depiction?
Many misconceptions arise because the people that study our universe have to think of it as an entity in order to get their heads around this thing and depict it as such to explain their theories.
I think that they cause more confusion than anything else when it comes to the common man’s understanding of the concept of the universe. Does keeping the common man happy and correctly informed rank very highly on theoretical physicists agendas?

It was Aristotle that recognized that we do not start off with the concept of empty space. We rather start off by observing entities, (objects), their relative arrangement, and the changes in the arrangement. These observations then give rise to the concept of place, or position. The concept of space then merely means a sum of places.

Let’s look at an example. You have an empty room, and you ask your wife what she wants to do with the space. This is a perfectly valid use of the concept of space. What you mean is; you have a sum of places; how are we going to place items in respect to one another within the surrounding walls of the room. What you definitely don’t mean is; that we have space here, do we want to move this space to the kitchen, where more space would be handier, or should we leave it where it is!

This example may sound stupid, but Aristotle showed that it was this very same silliness that characterized his predecessor’s views on space. They treated space as if it were a thing with its own separate existence apart from bodies. What really is happening; is that the concept of space derives from the earlier concept of place, which refers to relationships among physical entities. Space does not exist apart from bodies (objects), simply because relationships do not exist apart from entities that are related. The distance between the tip of your nose and your screen as you read this, is a space...

Next i will look into Einstein’s space, and the concepts of space-time and fields.

What is Space by David Harriman. (Lecture/adaptation)
Leonard Peikoff. “Philosophy: Who Needs It” (book)

Source: News24 

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