04 June, 2018

Penrose and Ideality

Why Cosmology is Irretrievably Broken

As a serious and active theoretical physicist and mathematician, I have been inevitably driven to Philosophy, in order to try to explain the many apparently unavoidable contradictions encountered literally everywhere in both of these disciplines. And, it was there, within Philosophy, that I had been irrefutably presented with a damning indictment of both the bases, and of the assumptions, underlying these disciplines, which are also present, in the usual Basic Formal Logic type of reasoning used there too.

Such an extreme realisation was, itself, of course, a very long way from being an immediately-arrived-at conclusion. For, on the contrary, those very same now-rejected beliefs had been, without any doubt, a tremendously empowering past achievement by Mankind, and had led to significant progress in their attempts to make sense of their finally coming-to-be-thought-about World.

Indeed, to this day, most people, even including most professionals, and in these very same fields, do not, as yet, even doubt their crucial underlying premises, and have stuck, consistently, to them, ever since their major revelation by the ancient Greeks. For, they were, and still are, neessary-simplifications of Reality, and still retaining a true-if-limited measure of Objective Content within them.

They are often true-for-now, and hence wholly dependable in the short term. Indeed, in some cases they even appeared to be true-for-ever, such as in Number, for example! But in reality it depends on what you are counting - for, if your 1 + 1 is a Man and a Woman, it could, in time, equal 3, or 4 or even more. Then, as the parents die, it can decline, maybe even to 0! Yet, who would give up Number as a truly valuable concept, because of this clear time-dependence: it still has true value in many relatively unchanging scenarios.

Indeed, the key-misleading-assumption involved, when applied generally, has a name: it is termed Plurality. Put simply, Plurality asserts the permanence of certain things, ideas or beliefs, and their independence of other simultaneously-present entities or happenings. It was intuitively arrived at by the Greeks, in their first major revelation - that of Mathematics, originally concerned with perfect shapes in Euclidian Geometry, but soon extended to the whole discipline involving all Pure Forms.

And, let us be crystal clear, with Mathematics, within its well-defined bases, Plurality is, indeed, always valid! Its very power depends upon its definition of perfect shapes, or more generally, Perfect Forms, for this enabled the whole discipline to be built into a relatively consistent and developable system.

But, this was only at all possible by limiting study to Pure Forms alone, which, as a consequence, also made it necessarily conform to Plurality too. But, consequently, Mathematics does NOT apply to Reality, as such, but only to this reflection of its Pure Forms and nothing else - basically, it is true only of a parallel and restricted World, which we term Ideality.

Roger Penrose and some Ideality

Now, the problems with my chosen disciplines arose, when situations unavoidably involved Qualitative Changes. For, Mathematics, as originally defined, excluded this possibility entirely, but also for the very same reason could still be developed into a remarkably informing descriptive discipline, when restricted to things conforming to Plurality - that is to only quantitative changes, usually only within what are termed Stabilities.
But, my consequent turn to Physics (from my first love, Mathematics) didn't help, for the benefits of Mathematics in staying with Plurality, had also been exported illegitimately, first, to Formal Logic, and thereafter to the Sciences too.

Though Physics, for example, was temporarily rescued by a form of Positivism which allowed the co-existence of various contradictory stances which could be switched-between with the long-standing pragmatic excuse of, "If it works, it is right!" So, an amalgam of stances were simultaneously-allowed, including Materialism (from Reality), Idealism (from Mathematics), Pragmatism (from his Hunter/Gatherer past), Plurality (from Formal Reasoning), and even Holism (from attempts, in spite of all the above, to physically-explain real phenomena).

The major crisis, was finally unavoidably precipitated, in the 20th century, by the increasingly-emerging failure of the above amalgam, which led to the dropping of Physical Explanation totally, and the whole-hearted embracing of Mathematics as the "sole-saviour", particularly in Sub-Atomic Physics, but also with a devastating carry-over into Cosmology too.

Now, this particular essay was precipitated by a video on the internet by Professor Roger Penrose upon the assumed-cause - the Big Bang, and inevitable final-demise, of our Universe! Penrose started by mentioning his resolute faith in Mathematics, and, in particular, of Einstein's Relativity Equation, and though he didn't question the Equation, he felt that certain prior assumptions, upon which it was erected, might well be erroneous.

Interestingly, he located the difficulties within the Singularities seemingly occurring at either end of that existence - the Big Bang beginning, and the Zero ending, indicated within the equation by its effective blowing-up at those singularities.

His problems were with the (indisputable-for-him) Second Law of Thermodynamics, which indicated that the trajectory of that whole History was -

from a High-Energy, Random-movement, Minimum Entropy Start

onto a Low-Energy, Random-movement, Maximum Entropy End

It didn't make sense in Penrose's conception for it seemingly went from Chaos to Chaos via Structured Foms and even Life? But, his doubts weren't because of Penrose's "rich and wide" experience of Reality: for he, on the contrary, only "dwells" exclusively in a pluralist world determined-and-describable only by Mathematics!

Indeed, if you expected any Explanatory Physics, from his then-emerging Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, you will be sadly disappointed.

Both in the Universe's Origin (as in a Big Bang)

and in the Universe's Demise (as in a Terminal End)

they are described as being in an identical Conformal featureless "Flatness".

You have to remember his total dedication to pluralist Mathematics: in "explaining" anything, he actually says, "The equations deliver all these outcomes"! No references are made to any actual Substances and their properties. Absolutely everything comes from the Abstract Equations alone, and, ultimately, all his descriptions will be shown as the consequences of Formal Equations - they, we are told, determine-everything!

Yet, such means not only do not, but also cannot, deliver Qualitative Change, so all adherents to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, with their Maths-only stance, can never ever explain such changes: they can only, in the old pragmatic way, switch between equations because - "If it works, it is right!" That is NOT Science. It is Idealism as embodied in purely Formal Equations. It can only ever be descriptive, but never explanatory, so it actually terminates Science to be replaced by a dry and dead formalism.

Now, with justice, the response to all of this might well be to demand that this critic must deliver the alternative to this Dead End, and that is certainly a legitimate position to take. Yet, the routes taken in the whole of Mankind's various intellectual disciplines, over millennia, have unavoidably brought us to this significant current Impasse. The contradictions have been built into the Amalgam of such Premises, which were all retained, in order, pragmatically, to be able to achieve the many required particular outcomes, in a variety of areas.

And, that Amalgam must now be dismantled, via a route admitting of, and dealing comprehensively with, Qualitative Change.

But, in spite of several heroic attempts to do this, particularly since the Dialectics of Friedrich Hegel, some 200 years ago, this has not been achieved, primarily, because such an undertaking has never been systematically-and-comprehensively applied to Science, and, crucially, to Physics.

And, the usual restriction is, invariably, to only ever do Studies of Stability, either natural or arranged-for, which is now required to be extended beyond the point where formalist equations FAIL - where each-and-every essential Stability dissociates, and where the Real World processes, which alonedeliver the Qualitative Changes, termed Emergences,or even Revolutions,must now be the New Focus.

This is not new, descriptively, of course - for in Biology, Evolution is both totally accepted and well described. And, Geology has revealed the 4 billion-year-long History of the Earth, and even the time of the Origin of Life, and the Tempo of its consequent stages of subsequent development - its Evolution!

But, what are rarely, if ever, investigated, are the relatively short Interludes of Emergent Change, which are totally unavailable by current scientific methods, which ONLY EVER investigate Stability! It has been shown that an interlude of Qualitative Change is a cataclysmic transformation, requiring, initially, repeated Crises within the current Stability, which turns out to be a self-maintaining balance of multiple-opposing-factors, and which finally totally collapses - seemingly heading for a Nadir of Dissociation - that is, in fact, a complete dissolution of the prior System-Stability involved.

Yet, consequently, this then allows the still-existing individual processes, from the prior Stability, along with co-existing others, to find new "partners", in both conducive-cooperating and opposing relationships, which ultimately achieve a wholly new self-maintaining balance, in a new Stability, at a new and different level!

We currently recognise the Stabilities, upon either side of such a Transforming Interlude, but know nothing of the process which brought-about The Change. We use the passing of Threshold values, in certain Key Parameters, to signal when to switch getween the alternatives, but we can never explainthe conyent of that transition!

Now, such an absolutely necessary inclusion of these changes into Science is not just a dream! It is already underway, with a major Holistic attack upon the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, and its many consequences. The ill-famed Double Slit Experiments have been fully explained, purely physically. And the quantization of Electron orbits in Atoms has also succumbed to the new approach. Of course, the very heart of this endeavour has been to produce a coherent, consistent and comprehensive Holist, Materialist Philosophic Stance. And, the demotion of Mathematics from its current primary position to that of a flawed but useful Handmaiden in both Science and Technology has been necessary.

How can Science become Holist rather than Pluralist?

This undertaking, almost exclusively by a single individual (the writer of this paper), has amounted to over 1,000 papers, published at a rate of approximately 9 per month over the last 9 years, but based upon a lifetime's involvement, at a professional level, in all the disciplines addressed.

Postscript: The obvious question that may be considered important, about this philosopher/scientist, must be, "to what tradition or milieu does this researcher belong?" He has been a aspiring Dialectical Materialist since early adulthood, but only began to make significant philosophical contributions in the last 20 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment