14 March, 2015

The Origins and Development of the Solar System

If there was a substrate...

On watching a Horizon programme on BBC 2 recently (03/03/15), the imponderables about this “assumed-to-be-solved” area of Cosmology were increased considerably.

Instead of a “nice” Newton’s Laws explanation of the system (well within our observational range, and even with some voyages of discovery), that presumably commenced with a Cosmic Cloud of a range of particles produced by a preceding Supernova. Nevertheless, various problems seemed to be as yet unsolved literally everywhere.

Indeed, the pluralist stance, which assumes absolutely everything can be explained by an increasingly complex mix of fixed Natural Laws, has been under threat for centuries, and never seems to ever deliver the fruits of an assumed Reductionism, as it is supposed to do, but instead we are to take it on trust that such will be delivered, somehow “in the future”. But, the sort of things revealed in this programme, and from a stance situated at the very heart of the established scientific approach, should, therefore, have been fairly straightforward, but was clearly nothing of the kind.

Though the programme writers and makers didn’t highlight it at all, the resounding question had to be about that pluralist stance. And, it was incapable of delivering answers in the very area, in which Newton and his colleagues originally established the initial bases of Science, as we now know it, then it would be absolutely nowhere, when it came to considering the multiple Levels of Reality above this basic case – Life and Consciousness are way beyond such a stance.

So, if by some chance, you are not a pluralist – indeed, the very opposite – namely a holist, then you would not be surprised by these difficulties. You may not be able to explain an alternative Origin and Development, but you would know that such is definitely required.

Before we go any further, let us just make these alternative positions a little clearer.

The pluralist conception puts eternal Natural Laws as the active, producing factors, initially organising the Cosmic Cloud into an inevitable system.

But, of course, such a stance is idealism – for where do such laws come from? These Laws in their universally accepted way of encapsulating them – as formal Equations, cannot possibly be the primary sources of any process of development: they can only be the results of the interactions of physical entities with certain properties.

How can Laws possibly be primary?

Also as the organisation of the original pieces that went to make up ever bigger aggregates, and relations between them, the laws not only then came into existence, but would most surely change as things developed?

So this is the alternative holist position¬

Now, a basic scenario has been devised (by such holists) for such developments – knitted together from a study of many diverse developments occurring at many different Levels of Reality. And these ideas, paradoxically, occurred very late in Mankind’s own development, and came, originally, out of serious studies entitled “Thinking about Thought” by its initiator Frederick Hegel around 200 years ago, and thereafter by a study of the significant changes in History, first by Michelet and then by Marx.

And, what came out of those investigations was a trajectory, which seemed to be universal in all developments of every possible kind.

Perhaps surprisingly, this was never a matter of incessant, incremental changes – ultimately adding up to new forms, but, on the contrary, the seemingly strongly enforced maintenance of current forms over long periods of a seemingly permanent Stability, in which the overall structure did not change significantly. Yet these long and dominating periods were, nevertheless, interleaved with short interludes of major qualitative changes termed Revolutions, and then when considered in all possible contexts, as Emergences.

Clearly, once such a trajectory was looked at, for developments like that of the Solar System, it became clear that no simple, formal Law of Gravity would be sufficient.

For, such dramatic changes can only be as a result of competing factors – balanced in Stability, and finally overcoming their constraints and causing a collapse in the old set up, and the subsequent building of a new balance with in a new, different and higher Stability. 

Now, the pluralist Laws that would be the only factors, that, so far, Man had been able to call upon, were always, and inevitably, in the form of Abstractions - which were arrived at from data taken from Reality, but both simplified and idealised, so as to be representable into formal relations (Equations), and brought together according to Formal Logic, into merely consistent complexities.

Instead of being the assumed “primary drivers” of Reality in development, these were clean, man-modified versions taken from particular and conducively-designed contexts.

In addition, the ground for the usual cosmological considerations was originally totally Empty Space (which is, of course, also a mad-made construct).

Yet, to have totally Empty Space, as a universal ground required an origin too. And, when literally everything else is matter obeying its own Laws, then we have another series of Problems.

Where does the matter come from?

What initial form did it take?

Also, it becomes obvious that the concept of Empty Space itself is another of Mankind’s simplifications and idealisations. By making space devoid of all matter, it just became a stage upon which absolutely everything could happen – a static, inactive reference system, against which everything else could be measured.

But, the alternative, of a Space full of stuff, is just as likely – at least it gives us something to watch changing and developing in itself!

And, indeed, Man, when he began to study Reality, he soon filled Space with what he called a medium – a continuous, elastic and invisible substrate, which could effectively explain many things – such as the propagation of light and heat across the seeming void, which most definitely occurred.

Clearly, we cannot readily disentangle real, physical Reality from our always-inadequate conceptions of it.

For, Man didn’t arrive both ready-made and adequately equipped, to merely by thinking, arrive at the truth of any aspects of Reality. On the contrary, he too emerged from lesser beings. So all, yes ALL, of his conceptions about reality would be limited by his own current state of development. The Laws he found would, at the same time, as reflecting Reality-as-is, would also be limited by the current state of development of Man himself. How could it possibly be otherwise? 

Even our assumptions about the past will never be totally objective. Indeed, Man will always both simplify and idealise whatever he studies, to have any chance of even beginning to understand it.

And turning these abstractions into Natural Laws, entirely independent of Man, has to be erroneous.

Yet, at the same time, we cannot merely dismiss Man’s abstractions as simply wrong, for that also isn’t true. Clearly, there is Objective Content – aspects or parts of the truth, in his conceptions, and that is why they can be used both effectively and reliably in certain defined situations.

So, how do we characterise such conceptions, and plot a path in which these are brought, ever closer, to the Truth? The original answer to this question, by the ancient Greeks, was an example of the tail wagging the dog. For, Man established “Truth” by the consistency of his abstractions overall.

He was able to do it by assigning NO significant changes to things generally, and this allowed the formulation of the system termed Formal Logic to become established as the means of testing and even of developing conceptions.

Now, because of the ever-present Stability of Reality, the basic assumptions were approximately true, so the foundation stone of Formal Logic – A = A, the Identity Relation, could be assumed as the banker premise within the normal situations. Everyone now knows, and even knew then, that some things definitely changed, but they were seen as insignificant, at worst, and merely significant incrementally at best, and so, in most cases of productive use were basically a nuisance. So, a methodology was designed of “keeping things still” while studying them, so that the eternal Natural Laws would emerge, un-blurred by unimportant variabilities, to reveal what really mattered.

This approach became known as Science, and its use in carefully controlled Domains, by Man, became what we now think of as Technology.

Now, I must ask the reader to forgive this extremely cursory glimpse at Thought and Truth, but it had to be included here to begin to disentangle our unavoidable abstractions from our actual objective – Reality-as-is. And, hopefully, it would be the case too in the context that we would be in by attempting to work out the actual Origin and Development of the Solar System.

Let me indulge in one more essential diversion to reveal the dangers inherent in our lauded methods.

In Physics, with its original assumption of a medium filling Space (Aether theory), no trace of that medium could ever be found, so the concept of it, after much discussion, was finally, and supposedly irrevocably, dumped!

Space was back to being totally empty once again.

But, it didn’t help!

The problems began to proliferate, especially after the Discovery of the Quantum. For, this encapsulation of electromagnetic energy into disembodied gobbets, was clearly incompatible with a continuous medium of any kind.
But, it left a gaping hole in the required physical explanations of a whole raft of phenomena.

And, in addition, the, soon to become infamous, Double Slit Experiments also pushed the crisis to the limit! For, the results from these experiments seemed to simultaneously allot two totally contradictory properties to the key entities involved.

Sometimes, they acted as particles, while at other times like waves! Wave/Particle Duality was born, and surprisingly accepted as “The Truth”!

Yet, when this theorist included a certain kind of substrate, occupying all the spaces in this set up, ALL the anomalies just vanished!

Now, if the principle of an increase in Objective Content, is true, and a real measure of the closeness to Truth (as mentioned earlier), this meant that the new ideas must replace those of Wave/Particle Duality – the so-called Copenhagen conception, because it delivers more objective Content!

Now it was this researcher, who came up with the new theory for the Double Slit Experiments, and clearly, presented with the many imponderables in current ideas of the Solar System, it seemed worthwhile to reassess that conception, by bringing in the same universal substrate as had proved so effective in the Double Slit problem.

Now, all the advantages of a totally empty void would be gone, and a wholly new set of problems and solutions would be unavoidable.

The gulf between a totally Empty Void, and that filled completely with an active substrate is, of course, enormous.

For example, aggregations would have to occur within such a substrate, and any movement of the resultant bodies would also have to plough through this substrate like a ship through water. The effects of such disturbances upon propagation would have to be determined, and, thereafter, some means of the re-establishment of the normal conditions would also need to be explained.

The analogy with oceans may well be relevant, for they too propagate waves in spite of being seemingly messed up by the passage ships and whales.

The complex state of any substrate, and, in particular, the forces of re-establishment following disturbing passages through it, would have to be established and the involved phenomena explained.

It, as an assumed initial state, would certainly play some sort of role in aggregation – not least in propagating whatever causes such, for without a substrate, even Gravity becomes yet another case of the fabled Action-at-a-Distance once more.

To set up the required mindset for addressing all the usual problems of a universal substrate, we must commence by considering all the indisputable properties which will have to be delivered by such a filling of Space, in absolutely everything that we know occurs within it.

The analogy with ships in a sea gives us a starting point, but, certainly, cannot be taken too far, for though single entity transits may be similar, whole avalanches of particles would certainly not be the same.

For, as was assumed in the approach to the Double Slit phenomena, a single, moving particle (like an electron for example) would continually be disturbing the substrate – causing propagations of such continuously. So, with a veritable torrent of such particles, it would be both being repeatedly initiated, and also a roaring well ahead of its causes in a resulting stream of the disturbances within the substrate.

This would be caused by all disturbances moving forward of its cause (being at the Speed of light), while the causing particle would definitely be moving much more slowly.

Thus each and every particle, on interacting with the substrate, will project ahead of itself, a strong beam of disturbances, well ahead of what actually caused them.

And, perhaps, even more significant, absolutely all previously considered Actions-at-a-Distance, from Gravity to electrical and magnetic propagations and fields will also have to be fully explained in terms of this substrate too.

NOTE: At this point I must relate that several other independent researchers into the possibility of a substrate, but coming to the problem from very different specialist areas, have naturally each concentrated upon features that arise in their discipline, and have each come up with very different candidates as the units comprising such a substrate.

An electrical engineer was concerned with the subtending of magnetic fields within such a substrate, and defined his suggested unit accordingly. While another perplexed by quantization used a liquid as his model of the substrate, and concentrated in all his investigations on both Resonances of oscillations and Recursive effects to produce quantized orbits (which, by the way, he succeeded in doing). And, also an American scientist who is preoccupied with Gravity, caused his units to be defined in such a way as to deliver exactly that gravitational effect.

And, of course, lastly we have the writer of this paper, who in tackling the Double slit Experiments, ended up with a joint particle as the basic unit, with its internal sub-particles mutually orbiting one another. His objectives were to produce units of what he calls “a Paving”, which would be undetectable due to the opposite properties of its component parts, and to produce such a structure as to be able to hold and pass on quanta of electromagnetic energy, via the promotion and demotion of those internal orbits.

Now, such diversity is unavoidable.

For, the problems each individual researcher is addressing are all undisputedly real. So all these lines of study are revealing Objective Content. The problem is how can they be integrated into a comprehensive, explaining-all theory?

The current conclusion of this researcher is that is that the substrate must be heterogeneous – that is it contains several different units.

After all, criterion-number-one is that they are all undetectable, and that means not only to the usual means of detection, but also to each other – they could indeed co-exist.

And, what inter-reactions they do have are considered to only occur in very close proximity to one another – being very local indeed.

Now, the original suggestion, of this theorist, was that it was composed of a single kind of entity, but evidence from other researchers and theorists makes that assertion unsustainable.

And this relative independence of one another will cause them to act as if they alone inhabit Space. Each type may well inter-react with others of the same kind via different overall structures. 

It would be a mistake to assume that all of these different units act in an identical way like different elements in a gas. Just as in Maxwell’s remarkable model of the ether, it seems likely that different structures will be involved.

Remember, it was his model that enabled Maxwell to develop his, still used equations of Electromagnetism, so something of his model must certainly have been a reasonable assumption.

I have included his diagram from Margaret Morrison’s paper on the subject.

Various features of this model are relevant to today’s concerns. Crucially, he has reciprocal effects between his two involved entities. Dropping Maxwell’s model entirely along with the concept of the Ether was a major error, and it stems from the pluralist conception of Reality driven by Natural Laws. The alternative holist view does not see the gains of Science as Absolute Truths, but as analogistic models with a measure of Objective Content, so that all gains are partial and temporary. The best we can do is to strive to increase the amount of Objective Content in our constructions.

So, in our current problem, concerning the Origin and Development of the Solar System, we will have to solve, on a cosmic scale, what is also currently being addressed upon a Sub Atomic scale.

And, though very far apart in scale, they will still be related, as the substrate involved is common to both realms, but with different priorities to be solved.

On the Cosmic scale, Gravity and the general problem of Actions-at-a-Distance will be the dominant considerations. While at the Sub Atomic scale, it has to be the problem of quantization.

But, in an important way, the universality of forms such as orbiting, occurring at both levels, though with very different causes, again proves that Forms are secondary, and can never be causes in themselves.

The dominance of equations has to be a failed diversion from the real causes of phenomena, whatever the level.

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